Career Partnerships Program

Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Career Partnerships Program Overview

The Career Partnerships Program (CPP) builds professional skills and offers concrete experiences for students to explore college and career. The goal is to give students the information, skills, inspiration and motivation that they need to shape their own futures. In meetings, trainings and the once-each-semester mini-retreat, students learn communication and networking skills and discuss issues that relate to both their present and their future. On college trips students tour nearby universities, meet with O’Dowd alums and evaluate what they want in a college.

Workplace trips and special events introduce students to a variety of professionals and careers. Deeper exploration of careers is also available through shadowing and internship possibilities. The CPP is open to rising sophomores, juniors and seniors. For more information contact Meghan Wallingford via email or by phone at ext. 621.

What We Do

  • Students learn communication and networking skills that will serve them in school and throughout their lives.  Guided reflection helps students get the most from their experiences.
  • Before meeting professionals, students will have thought about what they want to accomplish with this experience and prepared questions they want to ask. We also coach students in the culture, etiquette and norms of the professional environment.
  • CPP students receive individual attention to help them identify their interests, develop their skills, and meet professionals who will help them pursue their dreams.
  • College visits are a window into the student’s own future. Students meet professors, interact with college students, and explore what they want in a college.
  • Group events, where students meet different types of professionals, expand the student’s sense of possibility and offer insight into a variety of fields.
  • Shadowing introduces students to career partners -- professionals doing important and interesting work. Students enter a professional workplace, watch the career partner at work, and talk about issues -- college, career, life choices, the role of professionals in the community, their ability to work for the greater good, and the impact of economic and social factors related to that profession, including gender and ethnicity.

CPP Visits Garfield Medical Innovation Center

Career Partnership Program students visited Kaiser’s Garfield Research Center, the largest medical innovation center in the country. They saw robots, practice dummies, room mockups and more.

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Students Attend Autodesk VR Conference

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Student collaborated to paint a dragon in a $50k Bluespace collaboration environment.

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TED Talk – Celeste Headlee: 10 ways to have a better conversation

When your job hinges on how well you talk to people, you learn a lot about how to have conversations — and that most of us don’t converse very well. Celeste Headlee has worked as a radio host for decades, and she knows the ingredients of a great conversation: Honesty, brevity, clarity and a healthy amount of listening. In this insightful talk, she shares 10 useful rules for having better conversations. “Go out, talk to people, listen to people,” she says. “And, most importantly, be prepared to be amazed.”

CPP Visits Berkeley Labs Biofuels Research Facility

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About the Berkeley Labs

Entrepeneurs Club Attends Bleeding Edge Startup Conference

Entrepeneur club students were given an incredible opportunity to attend Disrupt SF, a TechCrunch event. None of them would have been able to afford the $3k ticket without the generous support of a well connected O’Dowd parent for which they were all grateful. Watch the thank you video »


Dr. Kelly, Senior Vice President of IBM, told the audience we have now entered a new era of computing, the third era, the era of artificial intelligence. This was one of those crazy talks that made me feel like I had just seen the iPhone for the first time.

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Top speakers included billionaires and CEOs.

The Future of Drones – Helen Greiner – CyPhy Works – Disrupt SF

She created the Roomba and now she has a whole new take on aerial drones.

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Don’t be afraid of robots – Yuri Milner Billionaire Funder – Disrupt SF

When Billionaires say something it’s usually a good idea to listen, even if they are a bit boring.

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Entrepeneur Students Thank TechCrunch for Tickets

DisruptSF is a phenomenal event. Tickets are about $3k a piece, and our benefactor took 35 kids and 6 adults. You do the math. In short this was a phenomenal opportunity. Here are the students saying thank you for this CRAZY opportunity!

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Dr. Kelly – AI – Watson – Disrupt SF

We have now entered a new era of computing, the third era, of artificial intelligence. This was one of those crazy talks that made me feel like I had just seen the iPhone for the first time.

Watch more videos on our YouTube channel »

Career Partnership Program Off to Great Start

The announcement read: “You may be someone who knows exactly where you will be in 10 years. You may be someone who isn’t sure where you will be in 10 days. Most likely you are somewhere in between. ” This teaser inspired 84 students to sign up to participate in the Career Partnerships Program (CPP) this Fall.

CPP is an extra curricular program for sophomores, juniors and seniors that helps students lay a foundation to make informed competent choices about their futures – life, college and career. This is accomplished through workshops, speakers, field trips and more. These opportunities allow students to interact with professionals and experience different environments so they can make informed decisions as they plan their futures.

The Fall 2015 CPP calendar is busy with college trips to UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz, San Jose State University and Santa Clara University. CPP students will also gain exposure to the world of work through visits to Kaiser’s Garfield Center for Innovation, Berkeley Labs Joint BioEnergy Institute and to the Tech Crunch Disrupt SF conference.

Parents of CPP students are invited to come to a Parent Information Night on September 17 at 7:00 p.m. in the Dominican Hall Lounge. For additional information about the Career Partnerships Program, contact program director Meghan Wallingford.

Finding God in All Things

9500 Stearns Ave | Oakland, CA 94605 | Phone: (510) 577-9100 | Fax: (510) 638-3259